Kickboxing superstar Badr Hari is one of the world's top heavyweights in his sport, and in an interview with FightHype, has slammed a couple of top-ranked heavyweights and says he's looking to start a new career in the boxing world:
"I look at guys like [Tomasz] Adamek and [Chris] Arreola and if they are considered the top of the division, I kinda laugh at that. I think I am ready for those guys right now. Or Monte Barrett, who just beat David Tua. ... I just want to f**k people up."
This is a cute quote, but that's about it. Adamek is a heavyweight contender, former cruiserweight champion, and former top light heavyweight and titleholder there. Arreola has become one of the more popular fighters in the division, and is seemingly putting his days of being, well, kind of a slob behind him.
Hari, at 6'6", is a big guy who could potentially make the transition. At 26, he's young enough to do so, and he's already got some experience. He also, despite the headline-grabber quote above, doesn't seem as delusional as you might think. He knows it would be an adjustment and that he'd have to learn, and he's not looking to call out the Klitschkos yet. I just think he's got the opinion that a lot of people do: Beyond the Klitschkos, the division just isn't good.
But I do quibble with one thing he seems to insinuate, that crowds aren't coming out for heavyweight boxing. That's not true. In America, the division is all but dead. But in Germany, the Klitschkos sell out stadiums and plenty of other guys can bring in solid crowds, too. David Haye is a big draw in the UK. Tomasz Adamek sells huge in Poland (and sells well in New Jersey, too).
If Hari actually makes the move to boxing -- take it with a punch of salt -- he'll start lower than Adamek or Arreola or even Barrett. I do think he has the physical tools to be a success, if he really dedicates himself to the boxing game and takes his time. He's also got a personality that is easy to sell -- he's a "bad boy," and he could make a name for himself in the media before he ever does so in the ring. As he is right now, I don't think he'd be technically good enough to beat anyone of any substance in boxing's heavyweight division, and certainly wouldn't beat Adamek or Arreola. He's just not a good enough pure boxer yet. That's just my opinion.
For more on Badr Hari and kickboxing, check out our sister site, Head Kick Legend.